I feel this post should come with a warning of ‘excessive language’. So there you have it.
“It’s not that bad.”
“It could have been worse.”
“There’s always a silver lining if you just look hard enough.”
Okay, stop right there.
Those words are all well and good, but…
When said in the wrong way, or at the wrong time, it really pisses me off. And I know I’m not the only one.
It’s so invalidating. “Shut up and just listen. Listen to me, instead of spouting that bullshit.” I want to say.
Happy, positive quotes don’t make me feel better when I’m in a bad place. It makes me feel horrible. Because what’s wrong with me that I don’t feel that way? That these words don’t make me see things differently? That I can’t just repeat it over and over again and make it really sink in when I need it to?
I am just so sick of hearing people tell someone who has just opened up to them, that they should just look at the bright side. No, I’m sorry, but the sun doesn’t shine all the time. Sometimes it’s fucking dark and the rain is coming down in torrents. Can we control the weather too?
“You’re bringing it upon yourself”. Fine. Then that’s my burden to bear. It’s not your problem.
Just because there are people out there who have it worse than me, doesn’t mean that my problems and feelings are insignificant and should just be swept under the rug. That’s why I’m in the place I’m at right now. Where everything I had locked away in a great big closet and tried to forget about has come spilling out. There are things scattered everywhere, while I’m desperately trying to pick them up and shove them back in. But the more I try to shove it back in, the more I realize there just isn’t enough space anymore. So now I have to sit with, and sort through all these things. It’s overwhelming, and I don’t know where to start.
“I can’t drown my demons. They know how to swim.”
I’m allowed to feel like my life is shit sometimes. Just because I feel like that, doesn’t mean I’m oblivious to all the good. I can still appreciate a beautiful sunset, be grateful that I have a roof over my head, food to eat, somewhere warm to sleep. Despite what it seems like, I do count my blessings. But sometimes, I just can’t.
I’ve realized that by putting all this pressure on myself to “just be positive”, to be optimistic about everything just makes my anxiety sky rocket. I’ll be positive when I feel positive. I’ll embrace that positivity then. That feeling. But I also need to embrace the less optimistic emotions when they arise. Because they’re a part of me too.
I struggle with work. I don’t just get stressed from time to time. I’m almost constantly stressed. Why? Because I have to work harder to keep myself together and ‘stable’ than a lot of other people. Also my brain mixes things up, struggles with the most basic things sometimes and gets confused and overwhelmed way too quickly. It’s been this way with all my jobs. Even the one I enjoyed. The one I enjoyed still had me running to the bathroom when I got too overwhelmed (which also happened a lot), to hurt myself. The only reason I lasted that long at that job was because my boss helped me with some of my work. There were certain things I continued to struggle with and understand even after 10 months. On the surface, everything looks fine and dandy. But underneath, that’s where the struggle really is. Just because I’m apparently ‘high functioning’, doesn’t mean that things are easy. Yes, I’m truly grateful for my job, but I still get those moments where I just want to walk out and not go back. All thanks to these fucking emotions that aren’t happy just showing their faces… No, they have to punch, kick, bite and scream too. I had a face off with the scissor in my stationary holder today. It was a battle. But I ended up screaming instead. Silently, inwardly with all the force I could muster. I was so frustrated. In that moment, life and work just seemed shit. I wasn’t capable of seeing the good right then and there.
Looking for the silver lining in a moment of turmoil, is like glossing over the very real pain and emotions. A silver lining can be found after I have calmed down somewhat, or when I’m ready to see it. Because pointing it out will not help me see it any clearer. I need to experience that moment for myself.
When we’re in the throes of something, forcing ourselves to just ‘be positive’ isn’t helpful. We’re essentially shutting down our very real need to accept what’s happening, to be able to deal with it effectively and move on. Healing doesn’t come from seeing the bright side. It comes from dealing with the emotions that arise, in our own time, and at our own pace, so that the bright side of our experience or pain can be seen in all it’s glory. And sometimes there just isn’t a bright side. There’s maybe just a less dark side. But sometimes that’s okay too.
“When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.” I fucking hate lemonade.